Elastohydrodynamic lubrication of smooth and rough surfaces
Different aspects of Elastohydrodynamic Lubrication (EHL) are studied. For smooth surfaces, a novel approach which solves separately the inlet and outlet regions by using the fracture mechanics equations, is proposed to solve EHL line contacts for shape and pressure. For rough surfaces, the full EHL geometry is reduced to an infinitely long contact with known mean film thickness and pressure; so real-roughness steady state analyses are carried out by considering the separate Fourier components of roughness and pressures, transient analysis by applying general finite difference methods. The subsurface stresses under micro-EHL are also calculated and given in form of a probability rather than a specific value and location. Initially, full-geometry EHL line contacts of smooth surfaces are studied. The spike of pressures is assumed to be singular and the idea is to start with an original Hertzian pressure distribution, then the edges of this pressure are truncated and the effects calculated via linear fracture mechanics; after this, the removed pressures are replaced by the converged inlet and outlet pressures, previously obtained by iterating the Reynolds and fracture mechanics equations. It is found that the outlet pressures follow a modified logarithmic function and therefore the exit bump in the shape joins the parallel film zone with a finite value of slope, unlike the Greenwood extension of Grubin's theory. From a set of solutions, the behaviour of the pressure spike as a function of two dimensionless numbers is followed. Comparisons with results from full numerical solutions are shown, giving good agreement. The scheme is later extended to consider compressibility and the Roelands viscosity law. After reducing full EHL geometry, the effects of real and wavy roughness in microEHL of Newtonian and Eyring fluids with or without compressibility are studied. Steady state analyses of real roughness show that only the high frequency components remain after deformation. By linearizing the Reynolds- Eyring equation an analytical solution is obtained and a criterion for the deformation of the roughness in EHL is given; from this, it is shown that the deformation is very much dependent on the ratio λ/ħ, obtaining little deformation for low values of it. Transient analyses of roughness in lubrication are also carried out considering the infinitely long contact. It is found that the transient pressure and film distributions are made of two parts: a) the well known steady state solution, plus b) a complementary function depending only on the modulation of film and pressures from the inlet. It is shown that the conclusions outlined for some authors (e.g. Venner and Lubrecht) about pressures travelling with the velocity of the roughness but shape with the average velocity of the lubricant, are only a particular case of a more general understanding. It is now believed that there is no a real physical damping in the transient shape.